- This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon locational origin from a place thus called in Lincolnshire, recorded variously as "Grantham", "Granham" and "Grandham" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The second element of the name is the Olde English pre 7th Century "ham", meaning homestead, with the first element being either the personal name "Granta"; hence "Granta's homestead", or the Olde English, "grand" gravel, or the Old Norse "grandi", a sand-bank, and would therefore be a "homestead on gravely or sandy soil". The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). On October 28th 1544, John Grantham married Katherine Bennett, at St. Kionis Backchurch, London; Dorithie, daughter of Hamond Grantham, was christened on March 24th 1575, at Claxby by Normandy, Lincolnshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the Grantham family of Dunham, Lincolnshire, is ermine, a red griffin segreant coward, beaked and legged blue, the Crest being a Moor's head couped at the shoulders crined gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Grantham, which was dated 1220, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Hertfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.